Christmas is around the corner! What’s on your menu? Did you know that healthy fruit and vegetables make a great combo with wild, even better than i thought. You can prepare meals in lots of ways, but how do you prepare vegetables and fruit with wild? Old- Maître Sommelier, from various high class restaurants, Michael, has a lot of tips and tricks to make your Christmas dinner one to remember!
What do we mean with 'wild'?
When we talk about ‘wild’, we mean food that has not been cultivated or modified. It’s pretty easy: everything nature provides us, is wild. Wild could be a duck, geese, deer, goat, and so on. From birds to mammals, it’s all ‘wild’. Wild means not cultivated, but pure nature. There are some wild vegetables and fruit too. Mushrooms and chestnuts are good examples.
The meat a farmer breeds is cultivated food. All beef we buy is from farms where the cows get bred, just to get beef. None of the beef we buy in the supermarkets is ‘wild’.
How do you combine vegetables and/or fruit with wild food?
To get a good combination of food, you need to see yourself as an animal. Take a deer for example. A deer eats blackberries and raspberries, so a good combination of food is deer, with raspberry sauce.
You can get great combinations this way, but there is another way. Let’s take a sole this time. A sole dives through the ground and goes to the bottom in order to find food. The sole will probably find truffle here, since that is located in the ground. This makes truffle and sole a great food combination.
Ultimately, imagining yourself as an animal helps you find more food combinations.
- Truffle sauce/ tree and earth products with pork/ piece of wild boarT
Truffles and boar are both close to the ground and boar loves truffles, pigs also eat a lot of acorns, so these products go well together.
- A raspberry sauce with a piece of wild deer/roe
Deer and roe deer love the berries and raspberries from a piece of bush, which is why a raspberry sauce is delicious with a piece of wild deer/deer.
What about the balance between dishes?
Balance between dishes is really important. If you want the best taste possible, you will need to have all the flavour compounds on your tongue at once. The flavour compounds are sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami.
A great tip if you are going to cook:
Make sure you balance the tastes. A piece of deer for example, goes well with a raspberry sauce. You could also add parsnip cream. This way you have a bit of a sweet, earthy taste.
What is a good way to prepare a wonderful dinner?
The most important part of a great dinner is preparation. You can prepare everything, so that you have much more peace during your dinner.
And, many people are often afraid of and cook on low heat, turn that heat up, make your pan very hot and make sure that crust is brown and crispy.
“It's going to smoke”
“Maybe the extractor can't handle it for a while”
“It might smell a bit”
“Don't be afraid it will bandage”
To avoid these insecurities, it is best to always keep your eyes on the food. Make sure your wild meat cooks on high fire and that it doesn’t cook all the way, just a crust. The inside will still be raw. Put the oven on 50 degrees Celsius and put the meat in, this can take a few hours, slice it just before you eat and make sure your oven is set to 200 degrees so that the entire dish (your vegetables/potatoes can also be heated up). Your meat can then get the last cooking time, keep looking and feeling your meat.
This way you don't have to cook all evening and you can sit comfortably at the table!
- Your piece of meat can always be cooked again when cooked ;) –
- You can eat all game meat rosé/medium inside
- Poultry can be fried medium (+)
''Vegetables are so ordinary, any tips?''
Vegetables are used to vary meals. A (cooked) carrot is nice with some wild meat or potatoes. It is also nice to make stew, but in stead of mashing all of your ingredients together, prepare them all separately. This way you have all the ingredients of stew but not mixed! (So, in a new way!)
Salsify is versatile. You could cook it like a potato, deep-fry it like chips and make a cream out of it.
Some final inspiration tips?
- With old-fashioned winter candy you can make nice side dishes. Sweets? Yes, candy! Make a gravy with black and white powder. Then you get a sauce of salmiak. Or a gravy with liquorice sticks in it.
- Add a little bit of vanilla to poultry. (Don’t add too much vanilla!)
- Add some puffed garlic to your gravy. If you have wild boar, puff the garlic in the oven and put that in your gravy. Black garlic is also nice for gravy or a sauce.